Muslim extremists burned down three churches in Tanzania last week and issued threats to the area's Christians, a leading persecution monitoring group has reported.
According to pastors who spoke with Morning Star News, three churches in northwest Tanzania were set ablaze last Tuesday causing everything inside them to burn. Fortunately, no one was injured.
The churches that were torched were the Pentecostal Assemblies of God, the Evangelical Assemblies of God and the Living Water International Church, all of which are located in the Kashfa village area in the Bukoba district. more >>
Pastor Rick Warren of California's Saddleback Church gave the final keynote address of the World Meeting of Families conference, sharing the stage with Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston, in Philadelphia on Friday, the day before Pope Francis arrives in the city.
"Thank you for caring about the family," warren told the crowd as he began his address on the concluding day of the conference, and quoted Pope Francis as saying that the family is under threat, according to National Catholic Register.
Held every three years and sponsored by the Holy See's Pontifical Council for the Family, the World Meeting of Families is the world's largest Catholic gathering of families. This year's theme for the conference was "Love Is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive," emphasizing the impact of the love and life of families on society. more >>
Naghmeh Abedini, the wife of imprisoned American Pastor Saeed Abedini, has slammed the apparent offer by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to free her husband in exchange for releasing Iranian prisoners being held in the United States. Naghmeh argued that her husband is not "collateral" to be treated as such.
"My husband is not collateral. He is a father and a man who broke no law. Yet Iran is treating him like a pawn in a game of chess. President Rouhani's demand that America release 19 criminals in exchange for his consideration of releasing individuals like my husband, imprisoned solely for his faith, demonstrates that the Iran of today is no different than the Iran who took Americans hostage during the Iranian revolution," Naghmeh Abedini said.
"The environment is ripe for Iran to demonstrate it is ready to re-enter the global market and international scene of diplomats; it is time to show its good will, to change its image from one of a pariah to a member of the global society who will protect fundamental rights," she added. more >>
The Rev. A. R. Bernard, pastor of New York City's largest church and president of the Churches of the City of New York that represents 1.5 million Christians, called the multi-religious worship experience with Pope Francis at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum an "amazing experience." He also addressed concerns some Christians might have about "the concept of the papacy."
"I will tell you, it was beautiful, it was deep, it was moving and I think with the backdrop of 9/11 where it was religious extremism that created that situation and brought America to a whole new place in this country, as that being the backdrop and to have religious leaders from around the world, in terms of the religious expressions around the world, coming together like that was very, very special," Bernard said, reflecting on the Sept. 25 gathering during a broadcast of his radio program.
Bernard also revealed that he was chosen to greet Benedict XVI on behalf of the Protestant community when the then-pope visited New York City in 2008. The pastor of the 37,000-member Christian Cultural Center marveled that "here it is seven years later and I have the opportunity to actually go from greeting to worshipping with the new pontiff, Pope Francis." more >>
Taking his teaching series "Quarterback" forward, Texas megachurch Pastor Ed Young spoke one on one with Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill about the importance faith in his NFL career, and then taught his congregation what is the Christian equivalent of the huddle.
The Sunday sermon at Fellowship Church in Grapevine began with the screening of a video, in which Young interviews Tannehill, who's a committed Christian.
Tannehill told Young he wanted to be an NLF quarterback since he was a kid, and that he kept chasing that dream, working toward it each and every day. "God blessed me; here I am," he said. more >>
If you get a group of pastors and church staff together, you will inevitably hear some pretty unusual comments they received from church members. So I did an informal Twitter poll to get some of these comments in writing.
There were so many good submissions; narrowing the list to twenty was a difficult process. Ultimately, I was able to get the number down to my requisite count. Here they are. Some of the comments have been modified slightly to reflect a direct quote.
1. "I am not a Christian; I am a Baptist." I don't know why I found this one so funny. more >>